104 pages 3 hours read

Alan Gratz


Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2018

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Discussion/Analysis Prompt

Consider the role of honor in Gratz’s novel. How does the quest for honor shape the protagonists’ decisions? In what ways do the protagonists’ understanding of honor change? How do these changes, or the lack thereof, impact the story?

Teaching Suggestion: This Prompt invites students to make connections between their perception of honor and the role of honor in Gratz’s novel. In the beginning of the novel, Hideki understands honor through the lens of The Honor Culture of Imperial Japan; however, after witnessing The Brutality of War, Hideki’s view of honor is broadened, and he chooses to honor all soldiers, regardless of their background, in the final chapter. Although Ray does not follow the same trajectory, he still understands the importance of honor in fighting for one’s country, which is a major motivation for his enlistment.